Review – Just Remember to Breathe by Charles Sheehan-Miles

January 22, 2013 Review 2

JRTBTITLE: Just Remember to Breathe

AUTHOR: Charles Sheehan-Miles

GENRE: New Adult Contemporary/Romance

PUBLISHED: 30th August 2012

SOURCE: Downloaded Kindle copy from Amazon UK

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Alex Thompson’s life is following the script. A pre-law student at Columbia University, she’s focused on her grades, her life and her future. The last thing she needs is to reconnect with the boy who broke her heart.

Dylan Paris comes home from Afghanistan severely injured and knows that the one thing he cannot do is drag Alex into the mess he’s made of his life.

When Dylan and Alex are assigned to the same work study program and are forced to work side by side, they have to make new ground rules to keep from killing each other.

Only problem is, they keep breaking the rules.

The first rule is to never, ever talk about how they fell in love.

I had been hearing about Just Remember to Breathe for a while through a few different circles but after downloading it a month or so ago I never got around to reading it as soon as I would have liked. I’m so sorry I put it off because now that I have finally read it I can tell you it’s a beautifully written story about guilt, regret, life changing situations, and trying to work through all of that for the sake of love and happy endings. 

The plot also covers the subjects of post traumatic stress disorder, class divide, childhood abuse and rape. You would think that with subject matters such as those that it would be a dreary read that would pull you down with it, but that is so not the case. It let me feeling uplifted and hopeful and so glad that I’d finally read it.

JRTB has Dylan as the male main character. He’s 20 years old and is already a disabled war veteran after facing combat in Afghanistan. He’s seen and experienced some things he wouldn’t wish on anyone. 

Alex(andra) is a girl from Dylan’s past, someone he knew before his war days. Things didn’t end well between them and she’s been trying to get over him ever since.

Dylan and Alex run in to each other when Dylan begins attending Alex’s college. It’s a huge shock for both of them but then they settle on a truce, albeit an uneasy one. They just need to remember not to talk about the past. But it’s easier said than done.

There’s so much that happens in JRTB, it’s intense, well paced and kept me hooked and wanting to find out more.

My heart broke for Dylan and what he’d been through and it just kept going around and around in my mind that there are so many other people who share the same nightmarish experiences as he had. JRTB wasn’t just a fluffy love story – don’t get me wrong, I love reading those too – it had so much more depth to it because of what we learned about Dylan and his time at war.

I liked Alex, even if she was full of doubt most of the time. I don’t know what I would have done in her situation so I shouldn’t really judge but it seems like she made things out to be bigger obstacles than they were. I guess since she’d already had her heart broken by Dylan once already she was scared, and I can understand that.

I liked most of the cast of supporting characters, especially Carrie and Ray. I love Carrie so much, she’s definitely someone I’d love to have as my own sister. She’s always there for her sisters, ready to help them out without judgement. I disliked Mrs Thompson a lot, and now I HATE her since I’ve read A Song for Julia! Ugh, what an awful, awful woman!

The ending of JRTB was just perfect. I won’t say any more than that since I’d hate spoil it before you read it. I can definitely count Charles Sheehan-Miles as one of my new favourite authors and I look forward to his next book, The Last Hour, which is Carrie’s story, coming in May.

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